Pence gaggle on immigration — VP Pool Report 2

Pence gaggle on immigration — VP Pool Report 2
*From:* “Dawsey, Joshua” <josh.dawsey@washpost.com>
*Date:* July 11, 2019 at 3:16:42 PM PDT
*Subject:* *Pence gaggle on immigration — VP Pool Report 2 *

Vice President Mike Pence is back at his hotel after two speeches to troops
— one to the Navy, and the other to the Coast Guard.

Vice President Pence took 15 minutes of questions on the flight deck of the
Munro ship, surrounded by 39,000 pounds of cocaine that were taken by Coast
Guard members. He was pressed repeatedly about crossings of the border,
pictures of squalor in detention centers and deaths crossing the border. He
was behind a draped American flag.

His aides repeatedly sought to end the testy questioning, where the vice
president was sometimes interrupted, but Pence continued taking questions.
Eventually, his press secretary Alyssa Farah stepped into the middle of the
gaggle to end it, as Pence continued to field questions.

Highlights below, and after the highlights, a few other notes on his day.

Pence said the vice president’s office worked with the chairman of the
judiciary committee to invite all of its members to the border Friday. He
reiterated that he planned to take cameras into the facility in McAllen, Tx.

“It does not appear any of the democrats are willing to take the time,” he
said, adding he was disappointed.

He defended detention conditions under sustained questions from reporters,
who asked him about sick children and pictures that showed overcrowded
conditions and some without basic needs.

“What people are going to see is not the situation many democrats have
described but actually a situation where our CBP agents are providing
humanitarian care, health care, shelter, food, sustenance in a way that
would make the American people proud,” he said.

He said he was sure DHS was investigating statements allegedly made by
employees that mocked migrant deaths and Democratic politicians.

“We have no tolerance of improper statements or callous statements like
those that have been reported,” he said.

He declined to say if he supported a pardon for Rep. Duncan Hunter.

“I simply cannot comment on an ongoing criminal matter,” he said.

Asked about the picture of the father and child dead in the Rio Grande, he
quickly pivoted to human trafficking.

“Our hearts break for the loss of life. The images of the father and the
little girl at the rio grande broke the heart of every american. but the
american people deserve to know that the human traffickers that are in some
cases taking as much as $5,000 American to then take people on the long
dangerous journey north have no regard for human life,” he said.

Pence was pressed on why the US government was cutting aid to Northern
Triangle countries and has proposed slashing legal immigration. He did not
directly answer the second question, and on the first question, said the
U.S. wanted those countries to do more.

“I’ve been to the northern triangle. i’ve met repeatedly with the
presidents of all three countries. the united states of america is calling
on them to do more,” he said.

Pence also visited a beach where Navy Seals were training and watched them
prepare for combat, according to his press secretary. The press was not
allowed to watch the visit. Pence later referenced he learned that the
troops ran more than 1,700 miles and swam about 120 before joining.

Joining the president at the Coast Guard event was Uttahm Dhillon, who
leads DEA, and Jim Carroll, who leads the White House’s drug policy office.

If you’d like a copy of his Coast Guard speech, I will provide. It was open
press so I did not pool the event.

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